Ocean acidification, hypoxia and warming impair digestive parameters of marine mussels

Highlights

•Low pH, low DO and high temperature showed drastic effects on digestive enzyme activities.

•Low pH, low DO and high temperature synergistically reduced digestive enzyme activities.

•Lysozyme showed increased and then decreased activities with time.

•Combinations of low pH, low DO and high temperature showed more severe effects on digestive enzymes than single factors.

•Hypoxia and high temperature showed similar effects on digestive enzyme activities.

Abstract

Global change and anthropogenic activities have driven marine environment changes dramatically during the past century, and hypoxia, acidification and warming have received much attention recently. Yet, the interactive effects among these stressors on marine organisms are extremely complex and not accurately clarified. Here, we evaluated the combined effects of low dissolved oxygen (DO), low pH and warming on the digestive enzyme activities of the mussel Mytilus coruscus. In this experiment, mussels were exposed to eight treatments, including two degrees of pH (8.1, 7.7), DO (6, 2 mg/l) and temperature (30 °C and 20 °C) for 30 days. Amylase (AMS), lipase (LPS), trypsin (TRY), trehalase (TREH) and lysozyme (LZM) activities were measured in the digestive glands of mussels. All the tested stress conditions showed significant effects on the enzymatic activities. AMS, LPS, TRY, TREH showed throughout decreased trend in their activities due to low pH, low DO, increased temperature and different combinations of these three stressors with time but LZM showed increased and then decreased trend in their activities. Hypoxia and warming showed almost similar effects on the enzymatic activities. PCA showed a positive correlation among all measured biochemical parameters. Therefore, the fitness of mussel is likely impaired by such marine environmental changes and their population may be affected under the global change scenarios.

Khan F. U., Hu M., Kong H., Shang Y., Wang T., Wang X., Xu R., Lu W. & Wang Y., in press. Ocean acidification, hypoxia and warming impair digestive parameters of marine mussels. Chemosphere. Article (subscription required).

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book